“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 3:3-5
Wouldn’t it be great if our character could be molded and built overnight? Rather than having to discipline our thoughts, attitudes, and habits over years of practice, why couldn’t we take a pill and have instant Godly character? We know that is not reality. So if someone offers you such a “pill” or shortcut, beware. Only God’s love and grace is there for us to experience the downside of character building.
When God created man and women, He did so after his image and likeness (Gn. 1:26). Of all of God’s creation, only humanity has the ability to reason, imagine, and create. These characteristics are patterned after God’s likeness. Yet man also, because of the sin virus, is blacken with spiritual cancer. He needs healing. That healing comes to us via Jesus Christ. He sends the Holy Spirit into our lives to heal and restore our hearts and minds. Our participation involves building our Will through the choices we make. It requires obedience. Most often it requires obedience through the tough difficult times of life. Even Jesus learned through what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8).
Paul writes that the purpose of life is for us to grow into the image of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4:24). When the Bible speaks about image it doesn’t mean that everyone looks like Him. What it means is that we resemble His character and spirit. That character and spirit comes through the trials and tests that life presents. It doesn’t come via a pill. It doesn’t come by taking a class. It doesn’t come by joining a church. It only comes when we allow His Spirit to lead us, transform us, and walk with us through the challenges of life.
So forget about fiat character. Instead, learn to walk with the Triune God as He restores creation back to His original intent. That includes you, me, and all of creation.
Perseverance. Endurance. Faithfulness. They may not be glorious words in a self-esteemed society, yet they are the marathon characteristics of a “little Christ” in today’s world.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married